|So far the news coverage on the EU and on Europe within regional newspapers has not been subject to the research on European public spheres, although regional papers target a broader readership than quality papers and in contrast to TV news also cover regional and local issues along with international and national topics. Therefore, our study aimed at analysing, in how far the European integration process is reflected in the regional press across countries and from a longitudinal perspective. In order to do so, we conducted a standardized content analysis of the political reporting in Danish, German, French, British, Austrian and Polish regional papers from 1982 until 2008. The results show patterns that are already known from the analysis of quality and tabloid reporting: Until the year 2003 the visibility of EU institutions indicate a significant trend of vertical Europeanization, while the references towards other EU member countries point to a slight tendency of horizontal Europeanization, however already starting from a fairly high level. Hardly visible were indicators of processes of identification with Europe: there were only a small number of We-references and the category „the Europeans“ even became less important. At the same time, the already strong role of nation states partly gained even more importance as a reference point in the newspaper coverage, especially in between 2003 and 2008.
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